Women of Action: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow has a lot of eye candy. The film was really at the forefront of the green screen digital film age and while it doesn’t look amazing compared to movies made these days, it certainly has a distinct charm to it. Part of that charm comes from the period feel of the film and the way the characters embody the elements of the World War II era people that we have in our minds.
A big part of why the film is so much fun is because of Jude Law. He’s got the looks to pull off that role and while he’s not quite Harrison Ford, he’s a remarkably enjoyable actor to place in such an adventurous role. The second reason that Sky Captain is memorable is that it features two actresses who are much better than this movie but yet play their roles as if they weren’t just for a paycheck. I’m speaking, of course, about Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.
The script for Sky Captain isn’t a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems like one of those movies that was actually a joy to make for the actors. Playing such archetypical characters could either be a drag, or something that is fresh and different for an actor used to dramatic roles. I think that this film played perfectly for the lead ladies and the only thing really missing was some more action from the main duo.
Paltrow plays Polly Perkins, the most comic book name in the history of cinema, and the most stereotypical 1939 reporter since early Lois Lane. She does just about everything that we would expect from her in this role, but somehow Polly just isn’t a very likeable character. To be honest, I thought she was kind of a bitch. Maybe that was why my favorite scene was when she got punched out by a man.
Angelina Jolie is criminally underused in Sky Captain. She doesn’t appear till over halfway through the film and when we finally get to see her she uses her post-Tomb Raider accent, an eyepatch, and a whole slew of cool flying machines to help Jude and Gwyneth infiltrate Skull Island (yes, that Skull Island). Sadly, Angelina gets very little screen time for third billing and we’re left to wonder just what color panties she’s wearing under that jumpsuit (am I the only one who thinks this way?). All in all, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow delivers for a film based in 1939, when women barely spoke outside of the home and whose main purpose was to birth children and clean the kitchen. Yay for progress!